Two Kufundees dropped off by KLM on their way to Portugal because they did not have the right papers. No support was offered by the airline, although they had let them begin their journey. They landed in a foreign city, alone and lost. Thankfully friends are never far away, and they were helped by Maaianne's in-laws. Sikhethiwe here reflects on the experience and the insights it gave her into the differing levels of respect and power afforded to different people.
I was both challenged and excited by the event in Cape Town on my journey to Portugal. It taught me something about how the World is defined and how Kufunda is building a shift in what being human means...
In Cape Town we were bumped by KLM due to not having all the documents required. Yes we couldn’t present the invitationt document at that moment, and being who we were, the Schengen visa alone was not enough. But we were not even given the opportunity to do so (get it on our mobile), and the airline seemed to not care in the least that they were dropping us mid-journey. No help was being offered.
I deeply felt that we were not respected due to who we are - being blacks. I felt how much humans takes advantage of whom they can assume are weaker,
I had to live this and carry this load of being a physically disadvantaged human being on this planet.
Deep in my soul I really wanted to face the person who gave the directives, but he never appeared and he refused to meet us. He only gave instructions to his staff. With all this I had to see how much people live in the fear of facing the truth and use other souls to do so.
We wanted to face the manager and deeply express our disappointments but he was nowhere to be found, How sad that it was the arrival the next day of our angry white friends kicking up a fuss, that got them to put us back on the flight.
While in this Drama I had to take all this into self and feel the pain and pride of being a TRUE black woman coming from the grassroot black majority sowing the love of being who a human being is and on a journey to spread that worldwide.
It reminded me of the importance of the work I am doing.
At that moment when we were bumped, the world seemed to be at the end for us, but realising that we had a community that cares, and that was working hard to get us back on the journey, that gave us hope. We had to share and carry the load with our community that supported us in both having accommodation and spending the whole day giving each other ideas, prayers and communicating with the airline in resolving the issue,
I saw the importance of having a community that is there for each other..
And we made it on to Portugal. Two days later than planned we finally boarded the plane and left behind a city that we had never intended to stop in.
We will share the many lessons from Tamera in a separate blog. It turned out to be well worth the struggle to get there!